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This document sets out the broad criteria that define an RSA Area Based Curriculum project. These criteria are drawn from the Principles for Action as laid out in the publication The RSA Area Based Curriculum: Engaging the Local (RSA, 2010). These criteria should form the basis for planning and evaluating Area Based Curriculum projects.

These criteria are not intended to be prescriptive and say very little or nothing about what any given Area Based Curriculum project should contain in terms of content, who Community Partners should be, or how the projects should be constructed. They are, however, intentionally challenging around ensuring that all projects take seriously the questions of who gets involved with curriculum, where learning happens, and what content is included.Criteria vary between those that must be fulfilled for the project to count as an Area Based Curriculum project, and those that should be considered and fulfilled wherever possible.

Every Area Based Curriculum project must at least satisfy the basic requirements of an educational programme:

  • Educational – the purpose must be for students to learn, progress, and achieve.

  • Engaging – they must seek to engage all students regardless of ability or background.

  • Evaluative – projects must be monitored, reflected upon and evaluated throughout.


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